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Instant analysis: Flyers vs. Capitals, Game 2

Special teams, long-distance goal helps Washington build 2-0 series lead

by Tom Gulitti @tomgulittinhl / Staff Writer

WASHINGTON -- The Washington Capitals defeated the Philadelphia Flyers 4-1 in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference First Round at Verizon Center on Saturday. The Capitals lead the best-of-7 series 2-0.

John Carlson and Alex Ovechkin scored power-play goals, and Nicklas Backstrom had three points (a goal and two assists) for the Capitals, but it was Jason Chimera's chip-in from the far side of the red line that somehow eluded Flyers goaltender Steve Mason 2:26 into the second period and stood up as the game-winner. Braden Holtby made 41 saves for the Capitals.

What we learned: The Capitals special teams have been the difference, along with Holtby outplaying Mason. Washington killed three Philadelphia power plays Saturday, including a 5-on-3 for 1:07 in the first period, and scored on their first two man-advantage chances. The Capitals power play, which also produced Carlson's winner in a 2-0 victory in Game 1, is 3-for-8. The Flyers had some good chances on the power play but are 0-for-7 for the series and 3-for-24 over their past seven games, with the three goals coming in a 5-2 win against the New York Islanders in their regular-season finale on April 10 (a game when the Islanders didn't dress several of their top players).

Video: PHI@WSH, Gm2: Ovechkin rips a one-timer by Mason

What this means for the Capitals: They have firm control of the series after winning the first two games on home ice, but have blown a 2-0 series lead six times.

What this means for the Flyers: Despite outplaying the Capitals for stretches in each of the first two games, they've scored one goal on Holtby (by Jakub Voracek). If that doesn't change in Game 3, this will be a short series.  

Key moment: With the Capitals leading 1-0, defenseman Karl Alzner threw a pass out of the right corner of the defensive zone up to Chimera, who chipped it ahead from the Washington side of the red line. The puck slid slowly toward Mason, who went down and attempted to steer it aside with his stick but missed. The puck skidded between his pads into the net to give the Capitals a 2-0 lead 2:26 into the second period.

Video: PHI@WSH, Gm2: Chimera's tip beats Mason from distance

Unsung player of the game: In addition to having a goal and an assist, Carlson blocked a Capitals-high six shots and was pivotal again on the penalty kill.

What's next: The series shifts to Wells Fargo Center for Game 3 on Monday (7 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports, CSN-PH, CSN-DC). The Flyers are in desperate need of a boost from playing at home for the first time in the series.

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